COVID-19, Recession, DemNom, and General Election According to Betting Markets

Augur Weekly | A Look at the Week in Political Betting, Augur News, and More

🗳️ DemNom

After sweeping the 5 state contests this Tuesday, Joe Biden owns a commanding lead for the nomination on prediction markets (87c/share to Bernie’s 6c/share).

Despite the seemingly insurmountable gap, Bernie is sticking in the race for a little while longer. At least long enough to compete in this Sunday’s sans-attendance debate (should it end up happening at all).

Presumably, Bernie hopes to highlight the difference in lucidity and articulation between the two late-70s candidates, understanding that Biden’s mental competency has been called into question. Recent clips of Joe at events have shown him seemingly forgetting President Obama’s name:

In a head-to-head debate with the ability to hone in and trip up Biden, Bernie stands to gain by going at the former-VP. Nonetheless, Sanders faces quite the uphill battle to secure the nomination at this point, but we’ve seen that some crazy swings in sentiment have already occurred in this race.

Perhaps the more exciting nomination race is: who will be the Democratic running mate? Here are the current share prices for the leading candidates:

  • Kamala Harris | 31c

  • Amy Klobuchar | 21c

  • Stacey Abrams | 14c

  • Elizabeth Warren | 8c

Followed by a slew of 9 candidates priced between 5c/share and 2c/share. The 30-day chart for the four frontrunners shows Kamala making a strong recent move to overtake Klobuchar again; after Amy had briefly gained the lead after suspending her own campaign for the Democratic Nomination.

🦠 COVID-19

Unfortunately, centralized prediction platforms have not serviced participants looking for markets on the current phenomena. PredictIt did have one market asking if the WHO would declare COVID-19 a pandemic by March 6th. However, it did not serve a followup market, while the WHO ended up declaring it as such on March 11th.

Soon, we’ll have the possibility of markets to forecast during critical events such as these; markets for questions such as:

  • Number of confirmed cases; regionally

  • Fatality rate; regionally

  • Will all major 2020 US presidential candidates survive the COVID-19 epidemic?

And markets tracking knock-on effects:

  • Will the US hold mass-turnout elections for President on schedule in 2020?

  • When will travel bans be lifted?

  • Will the Olympics be postponed?

  • When will the NBA season re-start?

  • Will the NBA season re-start?

📉 Recession

The odds of a recession in Trump’s first term have gone parabolic with the advent of the society-suspending pandemic. Currently, PredictIt is pricing ‘Yes’ in this market at 75c/share; up nearly 400% from mid-January.


Below is a visualization of how prediction markets priced similar threats to the U.S. economy in recent years. As you can see, the betting markets believe this is by far the highest probability of recession since the 2008 financial crisis.


🇺🇸 General Election

Trump’s odds of winning the general election have been trending in the same downward direction as COVID-19 has driven the economy and markets. For the first time in a long while, the betting markets believe a candidate other than DJT has the best odds of securing the presidential office come November.

Joe Biden holds a 2c lead over Trump (48c/share vs 46/share) in PredictIt’s market for the general election, and the market for which party will win the 2020 election has seen the price for Democrats rise to 57c/share (vs 47c for Republicans).

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Further Reading, Listening, Watching, and Discussing:

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